It isn’t the weather that Iowa’s Secretary of State is hot about — Chet Culver says though we’re likely the first in the nation to complete a required report for the federal government on overhauling the state’s election system, it’s tarnished by the state’s refusal to pay its share of the plan.He says republican lawmakers have voted six times not to appropriate money for the state’s five-percent share of the match for federal money to buy new voting machines, a refusal he charges is based on partisan politics. Culver says lawmakers must approve spending one-million dollars by the end of the month, to claim up to 20-million from Washington. During a meeting of the election-reform advisory committee, Republican Representative Libby Jacobs of West Des Moines suggested the Governor transfer money to match the federal funding, a power she says governors have had since the mid-80s.Jacobs says she’d assumed it was tried and dismissed, because the transfers have been around for years and are common. Culver says it would have helped to get the tip from the Republican lawmaker, since in January when the session started it could have let the process move forward. He says now the state’s lost six months. But Representative Jacobs says it’s the governor’s office that should have told Secretary Culver about the transfer option. A member of the governor’s staff says the transfer power is limited, and will have to be examined before trying to shift the million dollars needed to meet the federal matching-fund requirements.
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